In Show and Tell: A Writing Workshop for Legal Marketers, Scribe’s Kristin Walinski takes legal marketers through the paces of how to create content that grabs readers’ attention and creates an impact. Using real-life examples from our Virginias’ members and their firms’ content, Kristin laid out the top ten tips for legal marketers when it comes to writing, whether it’s attorney bios, client alerts, practice descriptions for websites, RFPs and pitches, or representative experience.
- Put the good stuff above the fold. People only read about 18% of what’s on a page. Make sure what’s at the top counts and is the most important messaging you’d want them to see.
- Be internally consistent. Keep lengths of practice descriptions consistent across your website and throughout proposal materials to avoid making some practices look more or less important, impressive, or just plain uneven in the context of what your firm can provide.
- Be consistent across platforms. Web to mobile sites, web bios to LinkedIn, consistency shows the discipline and care that those looking to hire your firm would expect.
- Include the details that matter. This means showing why someone would want to hire your attorneys and firms. Rather than a laundry list of credentials, education, and other accolades, articulate a true value proposition.
- Differentiate. Don’t include copy that could as easily be included on any other firms’ website. Consider highlighting client quotes and/or testimonials on web pages and other marketing materials.
- Put the main idea first. Lawyers are taught to look for the conclusion first, and for most other audience members, that is true as well. Lead with the information you want your audience to have. The “sweet spot” for reading comprehension is ~20 words, so if you have sentences longer than that, they don’t stand a very good chance of being understood by readers.
- Write for your reader. Think about what the lawyer offers the client, and emphasize that. What have they done? What can they do for their next client?
- Turn nothing into something. Find ways to get your attorneys to see the value in putting the time into the materials you are writing, and how it can positively impact their business.
- Use signposts. Avoid “walls of text.” Try for headers to break up the text in intervals of ~300 words, and look for opportunities to use bullets.
- Repurpose content. Finding ways to repurpose means not having to start from scratch. Turn CLE presentations into blog posts, client alerts, and webinars. Use checklists and other tools used in legal practice as a springboard for articles and posts.
By Amanda A. Arwood, Practice Director, Troutman Sanders